Looking for Feedback on Game Jam Entry

Everyone - I’ve been designing and playing games of my own for a long time now, but I think this weekend is the first time I put one out into the wild on its own. It was an entry for the #OnRampJam, designed to get new players into TTRPGs with the help of an experienced GM and whatever you could get onto a single sheet of paper.

My entry is But What Will We Do About the Monsters? and if anyone here is interested, I would appreciate any feedback they had to offer.

I have seen several entries that tell me I need to improve my layout and design skills, but I’m on board with that already!

Thanks!

2 Likes

Solid and familiar premise

All the Suggestion sections are great

i’d throw in a few more ‘is a’ and ‘best at’ just to be more comprehensive

The Listen to the answer and Respond to the first player sections maybe need another sentence or two, just to make sure the GM gets the hang of the Flow of the game.

Overall its good, a few things fleshed out more and this would be spot on and a good on-ramp game.

You know, that’s a great point. We tried to provide “Suggestion” sections for anything we thought players would get stuck on - it just never occurred to us that new players might get stuck on “mundane profession” and “unique skill” - because we’re just too far removed from that experience!

I’ll take a look at the GM section - it’s aimed at an experienced GM, so I didn’t spend much time on GM help, figuring this was a really basic GM activity. Again you’ve reminded me of another perspective.

Thanks for your time and effort!

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This may have been a restriction based on page/word count, but I think it would benefit to have both a sample blank character sheet and a die roll results table. For a completely uninitiated player having the ‘mechanics’ highlighted and as quickly referencable as possible will reduce the bookkeeping load so they can focus on roleplaying.

A minor readability issue for me was that the italicized text should be more clearly identified as descriptions the GM declares to the players.

Good points. The constraints of the jam did prevent some of those, but I have also learned that my layout skills need a lot of XP investment.

I love this.

The only thing I see that might be an issue is the heading, “Things to Do When They’re Doing Too Well”

I feel like making it specifically about when the players are achieving success kinda takes away from player agency, and the purpose of rolling in the first place.

A more traditional PbtA “Things to do when they roll 3 or below, or when they look at you to see what happens” might be better?

Or is that a purposeful design decision - bad things will keep happening even if the players roll well, and they’ll never get to the hospital? - in that case, I’d keep it how it is, or change it to “Things to do when they’ve overcome an obstacle”.

But yeah. I like this a lot.

That’s a great point - I wrote it more in the spirit of “How to keep them from just getting to the hospital because they had one good roll.” If you’ve ever seen a Hillfolk pitch there’s usually a section on “Tightening the screws”, which is what I was thinking. I’ve changed it to " “How To Increase The Pressure If It’s Getting Dull”.

The original wording was, “When They’re Doing Too Well”, but I can see how it could be misinterpreted.